USAgainstAlzheimer’s Applauds Senators Susan Collins & Amy Klobuchar on Commitment to Increase Funding for Alzheimer’s Research
Senators introduce resolution to double Alzheimer’s research funding in FY2015, hit $2B by FY2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Susan Collins (R—ME) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D—MN) today introduced a bipartisan resolution declaring the goal to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 to be an urgent national priority and calling on Congress to double National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding for Alzheimer’s disease in FY2015 as part of a 5-year plan to commit $2 billion in annual Alzheimer’s research funding.
A ramp up to $2 billion in annual Alzheimer’s research funding would achieve the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services and that of leading Alzheimer’s scientists who have deemed that to be the amount necessary to achieve the 2025 goal. The Advisory Council – consisting of Alzheimer’s experts from the research field, industry and government – was convened as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) to advise the U.S. government on the content of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, and to oversee implementation of the plan over the years.
Alzheimer’s disease currently costs the United States more than $203 billion – $140 billion of which are borne by Medicare and Medicaid. In the coming years, the cost of Alzheimer’s is expected to skyrocket to over $1 trillion annually by 2050, placing an undue burden on families and threatening the solvency of the nation’s federal health programs. A study by the RAND Corporation earlier this year pegged direct care costs of Alzheimer’s at $109 billion, higher than similar costs for heart disease and cancer and underscoring the need for bolstering funding for Alzheimer’s disease research.
George Vradenburg, Chairman of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, and member of the Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services, issued the following statement in response to the new resolution set forth by Senators Collins and Klobuchar:
“I applaud Senator Collins and Senator Klobuchar for their bold and clear call to Congress to fully embrace the 2025 goal and to commit the resources necessary to achieve it.
“The truth is that we don’t have a choice as to whether or not we will pay for Alzheimer’s disease. We are paying for it dearly today, to the tune of more than $140 billion in taxpayer-funded care, yet we commit about a third of one percent of that total – about $500 million – to research efforts.
“We have seen some progress in recent years by both the Administration and Congress to commit additional funding for Alzheimer’s research. These efforts are important first steps but still fall far short of the funding levels needed to achieve the scientific breakthroughs needed to develop therapies able to modify, slow, or delay Alzheimer’s disease.
“I urge other members of Congress to stand with Senators Collins and Klobuchar and call for a dramatic boost in Alzheimer’s research in order to effectuate change, save lives and avert a fiscal crisis that will occur should we neglect this cause.”
USAgainstAlzheimer's is an independent, non-profit organization and advocacy campaign committed to stopping Alzheimer's by 2020. USAgainstAlzheimer's works to speed the discovery of a treatment or cure for Alzheimer's by advancing policy and resources that support innovative Alzheimer's research. For more information, visit www.usagainstalzheimers.org.